Former President Donald Trump is hosting far fewer campaign events than his fellow Republican presidential hopefuls, but his substantial lead over them may make that unimportant, Axios reported Saturday.
Since February, Trump has attended fewer events than fellow GOP contenders Ron Desantis, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy, though Trump has visited more states (13) than all but DeSantis, who has visited 19, Axios reported. Trump currently enjoys the position of undisputed Republican frontrunner, leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his closest competitor, by 30.9 percentage points, according to a RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of national polling data. (RELATED: ‘My 401k Misses You’: Black Woman Pumped To Meet Donald Trump In Philadelphia)
Trump’s lead has increased over the past several months, even as other candidates increased the pace of campaigning, Axios reported.
“Since Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy, his numbers have tanked and President Trump’s numbers have soared,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Look no further than today’s rally in Pickens, [South Carolina] to understand where the energy of the movement is — firmly with President Trump.”
TRUMP: “If patriots like all of us here today remain united, we will be unstoppable… We will put parents first. We will put children first. And we will put America first again!” pic.twitter.com/ML71aGz1Ku
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) June 30, 2023
Since February, when Trump’s competitors began to declare their candidacies, and through June 29, DeSantis has held 55 events, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has held 59, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has held 36 and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has held 102, Axios reported. In contrast, Trump has held less than 30 events since declaring his candidacy last November.
Trump also lags his competitors in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Axios reported.
Trump has held just four events in Iowa, while DeSantis has hosted 10 and both Haley and Scott have hosted 17, according to Axios. Trump fares better in New Hampshire, where he has hosted five events to DeSantis’ seven and Scott’s six, although all three fall well short of Haley’s 23 events. Ramaswamy — who sits a full percentage point behind Scott and Haley at 2.4% according to RCP average data — blew them all away in both states, hosting 40 events in Iowa and 26 in New Hampshire.
The South Carolina rally is just the second the Trump campaign has held this year, Axios reported. While such events were a key feature of his campaign strategy in 2016 and 2020, the reduced pace of such rallies is in part due to their expense, senior Trump campaign aide Chris LaCivita, said on Ruthless, a conservative podcast.
“People are always ‘what about the rallies? why don’t you want to do rallies?'” said LaCivita. “First of all, rallies are half a million bucks a pop. You’re talking about raising, what is it, 30, 38 hundred dollars a person, now? … Y’know it’s a lot of money.”
The DeSantis campaign has tried to draw a contrast between his campaign schedule, and that of both President Joe Biden and Trump, Axios reported. A campaign spokesperson told reporters in early June that Desantis will bring the same “energetic approach” to the presidency as he has to campaigning.
Trump currently enjoys a slight, 0.6 percentage point average lead over Biden in general election polls, while DeSantis currently lags the incumbent president by 1 percentage point on average, according to data from RealClearPolitics.
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